professional event brainstorming

Problem Solving: Are Today’s Professional Events the Place for Brainstorming?

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Brainstorming has an interesting relationship at events. It allows for more relaxed conversation in smaller groups, which sounds like a great idea, especially for longer presentations. However, it can also interrupt the main point, distract attendees, and accomplish nothing useful, which all sound like poor ideas. To help make things a little clearer, here are the top things that brainstorming can and can’t do in important business events.

Brainstorming Cannot Decide Company Policy or Strategy

Can’t, and shouldn’t – even in the boardroom, brainstorming isn’t a very trustworthy way to guide the entire company. It certainly isn’t at an event. Never hand control of any major company decision over to your attendees. Don’t ask them to come up with your next brilliant new marketing strategy or the perfect product feature. They aren’t good at it. To paraphrase Scott Berkun, Mozart and Beethoven didn’t depend on brainstorming. Leave big decisions to company leaders who know how to make them.

Brainstorming Activities CAN Influence How Teams Respond

So, the big company decision has been made by leaders and discussed in the presentation. Here is where brainstorming can be effective – when it comes to implementation. For example, after a new platform is introduced, you can break teams into brainstorm sessions to come up with the best ways to implement the new platform as quickly and effectively as possible, in their own unique departments. Since the attendees know the ground-level details, they are more likely to create effective answers, and even if they don’t, they’re at least engaging with a major company decision, which also helps.

Brainstorming Can Be Effective Training

If your event is focused on team building and learning new team skills, brainstorming is a far more appropriate option. There are a ton of different brainstorming techniques out there that can suit a variety of companies or team goals. It’s a smart idea to pick one and focus on the goal of team training, rather than coming up with some kind of perfect solution to a problem.

Brainstorming Cannot Get in the Way of Other Content

Brainstorming is an activity: It doesn’t present new information. If you need to go over new data, rollout plans, or any type of new content, then that should be the top priority. Brainstorming isn’t necessary here and should be avoided if it takes time away from more valuable activities. To put it another way, attendees can brainstorm, or they can learn new information, but they can’t do both.

For more information on team activities and where they fit inside your business event, contact Fourth Wall Events and we can help out!

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